Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I’m Giving Shawne Merriman The Benefit of The Doubt: For Now

I want to begin by saying that I do not yet take sides in the case of Shawne Merriman and Tila “Tequila” Nguyen. If he is guilty, then I want him to go to jail. But I’m not rushing to judgement for a few reasons.

I want to also clarify that I’m not a fan of Shawne Merriman or the San Diego Chargers. I am a fan of the Washington Redskins. I am saying this to show that I am not biased to the side of Shawne Merriman because I am not one of his fans.

When Chris Brown was arrested for beating Rihanna, it was a cut-and-dry case from the beginning. When the pictures came out of Rihanna’s face, it was obvious that there could be no other side to this story. I think that Chris Brown’s career is over and if it is not over, then I am ashamed of anyone who would buy a Chris Brown album.

Chris Brown never denied anything before or during his trial for beating Rihanna. There was no “other side” to the story. It was not a question of innocence. It was a question of how much trouble would Chris Brown be in. There was no “he said, she said.” Not only did Chris Brown not have any defense for his actions, but he was so uncomfortable with what he did that he could not even go into detail about it when he was recently on Larry King even after he received probation.

Recently, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman has been arrested for choking reality TV star Tila “Tequila” Nguyen. Her side of the story is that she was trying to leave his house, he stopped from leaving and choked her. She went to the police and made a citizen’s arrest.

I was horrified when I heard about this. Unlike Chris Brown, Shawne Merriman is an NFL linebacker. The guy is very strong and an excellent athlete. There is no doubt in my mind that in a fight with him, I would definitely lose. Then there is Tila Tequila. She is under five feet-tall. She would have less of a chance than I would if someone like Shawne Merriman was fighting her.

Now here is why I am actually giving Shawne Merriman the benefit of the doubt for now.....

Before trial and before even being charged, he has already given his side of the story. He said that Tila was trying to leave the house intoxicated and he tried to restrain her from doing so. Not only is he giving his side, but it would make sense to prevent an intoxicated person from leaving a house to prevent that person from driving.

So I believe that he should be given the benefit of the doubt for the meantime for two reasons.

1. He is speaking out instead of remaining silent.

2. His excuse for keeping her in the house due to his concern for her safety actually makes sense.

Do I believe him? I’m not sure, but guilty men are less likely to talk than innocent ones. Chris Brown did not comment at all or have a different side of the story in his case because he was absolutely guilty. For Shawne Merriman to come out this early and give a different account is an indication that he may possibly be innocent.

There’s a line that police officers say when they arrest someone. “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” For Shawne Merriman to make a statement this early, he is giving a story that can be used against him in court if he is lying. Guilty people usually try to work with their lawyers on a judgement instead of making up a public denial. If he is really guilty, then his story can get him into worse trouble than if he would keep quiet and get probation like Chris Brown did.

I have a feeling that Shawne Merriman spoke out because he really believes, or could be, innocent. Those who are innocent want their stories to be known because the public will judge them way before they are in court.

So until we know more, I am giving Shawne Merriman the benefit of the doubt. He could be innocent or guilty, but his willingness to speak out so soon after his arrest makes me think that he may possibly be innocent.


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